“It’s true!” Sullivan repeated, in a sort of a growl, for he was a little afraid of the tempest he had stirred up.
“I say it isn’t,” Larry replied. “I have worked on this case from the start, and I know as much about it as any one. What’s more, I think you know more than you are willing to admit. I haven’t forgotten the interview you gave me, and which you denied later. I think there’s something under all this that will make interesting reading when it comes out.”
“You—you don’t suspect me, do you?” and Larry noted that Sullivan’s hands were trembling.
“I don’t know what to suspect,” the young reporter answered, determined to take all the advantage he could of the situation. “It looks very queer. It will read queerer still when it comes out in the Leader—how you came here to threaten Miss Potter.”
“You—you’re not going to put that in, are you?” asked the politician.
“I certainly am.”
“If you do I’ll——”
“Look here!” exclaimed Larry. “You’ve made threats enough for one day. It’s time for you to go. There’s the door! Peterson!” he called. “Show this man out!”
Larry was rather surprised at his own assumption of authority, but Grace looked pleased.
“Yes, sir, right away, sir,” replied the butler with such promptness as to indicate that he had not been far away.
He pulled back the portieres that separated the library from the hall, and stood waiting the exit of Mr. Sullivan.
“This way,” he said, and a look at his portly form in comparison with the rather diminutive one of the politician would at once have prejudiced an impartial observer in favor of Peterson. “This way, if you please.”
“You’ll hear from me again,” growled Sullivan, as he sneaked out. “I’m not done with you, Larry Dexter!”
GRACE GETS A LETTER
The door closed after Sullivan. Larry, standing in the library entrance, watched him leave the house. Then he turned to look at Grace.
“Oh, that was terrible!” the girl exclaimed, almost ready to cry, but bravely keeping back the tears. “What a horrid man! What did he mean?”
“I’m sure I don’t know,” replied Larry. “I doubt if he does himself. Mr. Potter’s disappearance has evidently sent some of his plans askew, and he is hardly responsible for what he says or does. Don’t let it worry you.”
“I wonder if he knows where my father is?”
“I don’t believe he does. If he did he would hardly come here, hoping to deceive you or your mother. No; Sullivan wants to find out where Mr. Potter is just as much as we do. Why, I can’t tell yet, but he has a good reason, a strong reason, or he would not have acted as he did.”
“What had I better do?” asked the girl.
“Do nothing. Leave it to me. I will write something for the Leader that will make Sullivan wish he had stayed away from here.”